John 11:51
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation,

New Living Translation
He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation.

English Standard Version
He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,

Berean Study Bible
Caiaphas did not say this on his own. Instead, as high priest that year, he was prophesying that Jesus would die for the nation,

Berean Literal Bible
Now he did not say this from himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation,

New American Standard Bible
Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,

King James Bible
And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,

International Standard Version
Now he did not say this on his own initiative. As high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,

NET Bible
(Now he did not say this on his own, but because he was high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish nation,

New Heart English Bible
Now he did not say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But this he said not of his own accord, but because he was The High Priest that year, he prophesied that Yeshua was going to die for the nation.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Caiaphas didn't say this on his own. As chief priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation.

New American Standard 1977
Now this he did not say on his own initiative; but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,

Jubilee Bible 2000
And this he spoke not of himself; but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation;

King James 2000 Bible
And this spoke he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

American King James Version
And this spoke he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

American Standard Version
Now this he said not of himself: but, being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation.

Darby Bible Translation
But this he did not say of himself; but, being high priest that year, prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation;

English Revised Version
Now this he said not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation;

Webster's Bible Translation
And this he spoke not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

Weymouth New Testament
It was not as a mere man that he thus spoke. But being High Priest that year he was inspired to declare that Jesus was to die for the nation,

World English Bible
Now he didn't say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,

Young's Literal Translation
And this he said not of himself, but being chief priest of that year, he did prophesy that Jesus was about to die for the nation,
Study Bible
The Plot to Kill Jesus
50You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” 51Caiaphas did not say this on his own. Instead, as high priest that year, he was prophesying that Jesus would die for the nation, 52and not only for the nation, but also for the scattered children of God, to gather them together into one.…
Cross References
John 11:49
But one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all!

John 18:13
They brought Him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.

1 John 2:2
He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours alone, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Treasury of Scripture

And this spoke he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

being.

Exodus 28:30 And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the …

Judges 20:27,28 And the children of Israel inquired of the LORD, (for the ark of …

1 Samuel 23:9 And David knew that Saul secretly practiced mischief against him; …

1 Samuel 28:6 And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither …

he prophesied.

Numbers 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, …

Numbers 24:2,14-25 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents …

Matthew 7:22,23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied …

1 Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, …

2 Peter 2:15-17 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following …

that Jesus.

John 10:15 As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down …

Isaiah 53:5-8 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our …

Daniel 9:26 And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but …

Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, …

Romans 3:25,26 Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood…

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might …

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse …

Galatians 4:4,5 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, …

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that …

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, …

(51) And this spake he not of himself.--There is a moral beauty in the Words, in spite of the diabolical intent with which they are uttered; and St. John adds the explanation that they had an origin higher than him who spake them. Writing after the events, he has seen them fulfilled, and regards them as an unconscious prophecy. Like another Balaam, Caiaphas was the oracle or God in spite of himself, and there is in his words a meaning far beyond any that he had intended.

Being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation.--He stood, therefore, in a relation which made him the official representative of God to the people, and gave him an official capacity to convey God's truth. This was represented in the days of Samuel by the Urim and Thummim; and John, himself a Jew, still thinks of the high priest's breast as bearing the oracle which declared the will of God, whatever unworthy human thoughts may have filled the heart beneath. It may be that another reference to the high priest's office is present in these thrice-written words. It was the high priest's duty to "enter within the veil," and "make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year" (Leviticus 16). In that year the veil was rent, and the first step taken by which the holy place was destroyed, and the high priest's office ceased to exist. With the destruction of the holy place the Jewish day of Atonement lost its significance, but the high priest that year, by his counsel and action in the Sanhedrin, was causing the sacrifice which should be presented by another high priest, in the Holy of Holies as an Atonement for the world--"Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption" (Hebrews 9:11-12).

Verses 51, 52. - The evangelist discerned the presence of a deeper meaning in his words not intended by himself. As Balaam and Nebuchadnezzar and even Pharaoh had uttered unconscious or unwilling prophecies, and as in all genuine prophecies there are meanings meant by God beyond what the utterer of them at all conceived possible. So here. This he spake not from himself: but being high priest that awful, critical year, he prophesied. The high priest was believed in ancient times to have the power of drawing from Urim and Thummim the Divine decisions as to future events (Exodus 28:30; Numbers 27:21, and Caiaphas, as priest-prophet, may thus have conveyed an awful and sublime truth through base and evil dispositions. Curious instances occur elsewhere (John 7:27, 35): "He saved others; himself he cannot save!" (Mark 15:31); when the people said, "His blood be upon us" (Matthew 27:25); when Pilate, by unconscious prophecy, ironically declared him to be "King of the Jews" (Matthew 27:37). Wunsche quotes a curious case of unconscious prophecy, which the rabbinical writers attributed to Pharaoh's daughter, when she forecast the future legislator in the infant derelict. The substance of the prophetic word extracted from his saying was that Jesus should die for the nation. Hengstenberg wisely says, "Caiaphas could not have spoken other than of the λαός." When John wrote, the difference between the λαός and the ἔθνη had vanished away. Israel had become an ἔθνος, like the rest. And not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one (λαόν) the children of God scattered abroad - constitute a new center, life-giving and sacred in the covenant of his blood (cf. 1 John 2:2, a very remarkable parallelism). Who are the τέκνα τοῦ Θεοῦ διεσκορπισμένα? According to some, the dispersed Israelites, but surely the passage corresponds with the "other sheep," of John 10:16, and refers to all who enter by living faith in him into the full realization of the Divine Fatherhood (see John 1:12 and Ephesians 2:14) and their own sonship. Christ is the true Union of Jew and Gentile. And this spake he not of himself,.... Not of his own devising and dictating, but by the Spirit of God; as a wicked man sometimes may, and as Balaam did; the Spirit of God dictated the words unto him, and put them into his mouth; nor did he use them in the sense, in which the Holy Ghost designed them:

but being high priest that year; by his office he was the oracle of God, and was so esteemed by the people, and therefore a proper person to be made use of in this way; and especially being high priest that year, in which the priesthood was to be changed, and vision and prophecy to be sealed up:

he prophesied; though he did not know he did, as did Pharaoh, Exodus 10:28, and the people of the Jews, Matthew 27:25.

That Jesus should die for that nation; these words, with what follows in the next verse, are the words of the evangelist, interpreting the prophecy of Caiaphas, according to the sense of the Holy Ghost that Jesus should die, which was contrary to a notion the Jews had imbibed, concerning the Messiah; see John 12:34. But Jesus the true Messiah must die; this was determined in the counsel of God, agreed to by Christ in the covenant of grace, foretold by the prophets from the beginning of the world, typified by sacrifices and other things, under the former dispensation, predicted by Christ himself, and accordingly came to pass; and upon the above accounts was necessary, as well as for the salvation of his people, who otherwise must have perished; and yet was free and voluntary in him, and a strong expression, and a demonstrative proof of his love to them: and not only this prophecy declared, that Jesus should die, but that he should die for that nation, for the nation of the Jews; not for every individual in it, for all of them were not saved by him; some received him not; they rejected him as the Messiah, Saviour, and Redeemer, and died in their sins; but for all the elect of God among them, the sheep of the house of Israel, to whom he was sent, and whom he came to seek and save; and whom he blessed, by turning them away from their iniquities, and by taking away their iniquities from them: and moreover, this prophecy suggests, that Jesus was to die, not merely as a martyr, to confirm with his blood the doctrine he preached, nor only as an example of courage, meekness, patience, and love, but for, or in the room and stead of his people, as their surety; giving his life a ransom and himself a sacrifice to the justice of God, for them; there by fulfilling the law and satisfying it, and appeasing the wrath of God on their account. 51. Caiaphas … prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation—He meant nothing more than that the way to prevent the apprehended ruin of the nation was to make a sacrifice of the Disturber of their peace. But in giving utterance to this suggestion of political expediency, he was so guided as to give forth a divine prediction of deep significance; and God so ordered it that it should come from the lips of the high priest for that memorable year, the recognized head of God's visible people, whose ancient office, symbolized by the Urim and Thummim, was to decide in the last resort, all vital questions as the oracle of the divine will.11:47-53 There can hardly be a more clear discovery of the madness that is in man's heart, and of its desperate enmity against God, than what is here recorded. Words of prophecy in the mouth, are not clear evidence of a principle of grace in the heart. The calamity we seek to escape by sin, we take the most effectual course to bring upon our own heads; as those do who think by opposing Christ's kingdom, to advance their own worldly interest. The fear of the wicked shall come upon them. The conversion of souls is the gathering of them to Christ as their ruler and refuge; and he died to effect this. By dying he purchased them to himself, and the gift of the Holy Ghost for them: his love in dying for believers should unite them closely together.
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